Janesville51.7°

Going green: Council could make it formal

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
May 24, 2008
— City staff members are recommending formation of a nine-member committee to advise the city council on environmental issues.

The Janesville City Council on Monday also will be asked to resolve that the city be eco-friendly whenever possible.


The council will consider the recommendations at its 7 p.m. Tuesday meeting in City Hall, 18 N. Jackson St.


Councilmember Amy Loasching suggested creating a committee after residents expressed heightened interest in going green.


And council members George Brunner and Russ Steeber asked for a resolution that would outline ecology guidelines for the city.


The objectives are based on a popular sustainability framework, administrative analyst Peter Riggs wrote in a memo.


Several Wisconsin communities already have pledged to strive toward sustainability, Riggs said. He defined sustainability as the attempt to meet the needs of the present without hampering the ability of future generations to achieve their needs.


“Sustainability is a concern because of the perceived gap growing between human consumption and the natural world’s capacity to supply resources and absorb waste,” Riggs said.


The American Planning Association has developed guidelines to help communities in sustainable practices by reducing dependence on:


-- Fossil fuels.


-- Chemicals and other manufactured substances that accumulate in nature.


-- Activities that harm life-sustaining ecosystems.


The sustainability committee would hear from the public, research potential sustainability initiatives, make recommendations to the council and provide a central point of contact for environmental issues.


The committee would meet monthly and be made up of nine volunteers. The two-year appointments would be made by the city manager and confirmed by the council. A city employee would act as the group’s liaison.


The committee’s first job would be to create a sustainability policy for the city. It also would be asked to review the contents of and advise the administration about a study that addresses the Rock River.


IF YOU GO

The city council will consider forming a sustainability committee and adopting ecology guidelines at its 7 p.m. Tuesday meeting in City Hall, 18 N. Jackson St. A public hearing is not scheduled, but residents are given time at the beginning of meetings to speak.



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